Alkmaar Cheese Market
April 4, 2014 - September 5, 2014
It goes without saying that Alkmaar’s cheese market is the number one tourist attraction in the city. Every Friday from 10:00, from April through September, you can watch cheese being traded in the same time-honoured way as it has been for centuries. If you are visiting Alkmaar, this colourful and folkloric spectacle on the beautiful Waagplein (‘weighing square’) is an absolute must-see.
Cheese was traded on Waagplein square as early as 1365, when the city had only a single cheese scale. The cheeses are put in place early in the morning; the market masters and traders check if everything looks good. About 2,200 cheeses – 30,000 kilograms worth of cheese! – are lined up, waiting for the buyers.
The cheese market would not be the spectacle it is without its cheese carriers. Still, the ‘placers’, ‘throwers’ and ‘scale masters’ are other important people on the market. They are all part of a guild with many traditions. All in all, the Alkmaar cheese market is a fascinating spectacle that you may want to know more about. Ask about the possibilities (for groups or special children’s tours) and times at the local tourist office.